When I was twelve years old growing up in suburban Minneapolis, I thought this number in particular (especially when the second woman throws her head back and smiles) was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.
And now, I think it is almost transcendently kitschy.
One of my all time so bad its good movies. The ending song and dance numbers are so inept and poorly done it has to be seen to be believed. Basically all of them in the movie were laugh out loud hilarious as was the dialogue. Gene kelly looked so out of this place in this. He must have been desperate for some bucks to take part in it. Loved the olivia and elo songs though!
Huh... I always kinda liked it. Especially the toe tapping ending.
I was around when this movie was released, and this soundtrack owned America at that time. It was a summertime soundtrack for sure. I had never seen the movie until a few years ago, and man is this thing a piece of shit. Like, high school play quality bad. There was a production of Annie Get Your Gun at my high school that was way more entertaining than this.
I was 11 when this came out and was already a roller skating queen! One day I found a 20 dollar bill in the parking lot of the Sav-way and decided to take my whole family (incl. 3 brothers) to see it.
I just about peed myself watching it! Olivia! Roller Skates! Colorful Special Effects!
My family hated me for weeks afterwards and still bring it up today.
There are some pleasures in the film. Gene Kelly pushing 70 roller skating and showing kids how it's done with a really great song "All Over The World". Notice future Mr Olivia Newton John, Matt Latanzi in the turquoise knit shirt in the store window.
Live this era between post disco and before Reagan came along.. Hope & fantasy seemed to be around..,
[quote]So why does Olivia's muse character cover her face when she "wakes," up? I also love that they have the professional dancers working all around her, while she basically just stands there
She doesn't have to, she's Olivia Newton John!
This movie started the lesbian rumors about ONJ and Sandahl Bergman. It's not a surprise since when Bergman is onscreen, you don't see anyone else.
Oddly, it was directed by left wing activist Robert Greenwood, who later went on to direct the documentary "Outfoxed" about Fox News. He made one intelligent decision which was to let a then unknown Kenny Ortega choreograph the film. The script is pretty dumb, but the movie sounds cool and it looks cool, which is why it remains a gay classic.
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome doth decree from the original ancient poem is Livvy's line.
The look of the film is amazing, all the interiors seem to be shot on an empty soundstage.
I think they spent the budget on cocaine, and didn't have anything left over for sets.
Saw it opening night and though the theater wasn't full, it wasn't empty either but I can say truthfully, during "Don't Walk Away" there was an audible groan through out the theater when it turned to a cheezy cartoon.
[quote]I also love that they have the professional dancers working all around her, while she basically just stands there
My favorite part is at the end (in the title number) when all the muses and Olivia get up in tap dancing gear. Livvy executes the most basic few steps imaginable, and yet everyone acts like she's just executed some sort of incredibly complex Savion Glover routine.
Whatever else you can say about the film, there aren't many movies that start with the lead female character rollerskating out of heaven while glowing orange.
The soundtrack album was a big hit.. great songs. The album as I recall came out months before the movie. The movie might have been a late summer release which is usually dumping ground. I think the album came out in the spring. Songs were popular in the gay bars.
"Magic" is still one of my all time favorites.
And the stage musical which is even campier got some decent reviews on Broadway and is being done in regional theatres.
Magic was a huge hit for liv. #1 for 4 weeks in summer of 1980. Music from the film is really great pop. Xanadu might be the only soundtrack to be a hit despite the movie flopping. You light up my life was a huge #1 and the movie ignored but that was only one song not a soundtrack. But xanadu is wretched and yet entertaining.
I think it would have been a better movie had they cast someone besides Michael Beck,he's not only dull but he's borderline cranky through the whole damn movie.
I love the music but I can barely watch the movie since the script is so lame and Michael Beck makes me want to throw things at the screen.
The end musical number still gives me chills, though.
This is my favorite number, "Dancin'". Everyone involved with its conception and execution must have been on some sort of drug. For me, it's simultaneously a scene that works and doesn't work; isn't that the definition of camp?
I thought it was the most brilliant, beautifull work of art I had ever seen in my 15 years of existence.
Why was ever an entertainment fad? Roller skating is...roller skating. A source of fun for a child. Why did adults start doing it, all dressed up in revealing costumes?
I never saw this movie. I've heard a lot about it, though. It's in most "worst movies of all time" lists and books.
It finished Olivia Newton-John's film "career."
Poor Gene Kelly, that classic Hollywood star, in a campy piece of junk like this. I guess he just wanted to be back on the screen again. But didn't he read the damn script? Or WAS there a script? Or was everything improvised between snorts of coke?
About "Roller Boogie"...well, that was a piece of work. The title alone is enough to make people stay away. It was designed to cement Linda Blair as a sex symbol, but since she looked like a chubby, heavily made-up little girl that didn't pan out. The male lead in that film, some guy named Jim Bray, was astonishingly unattractive and unappealing. The tagline "it's love on wheels!" never ceases to crack me up. At least Xanadu had some good songs (the one Cher sings in Roller Boogie is garbage).
Xanadu was amazing! Especially the main song.
I remember seeing a segment on Roller Boogie/Disco on that old show Kids Are People Too and even as a small child I thought this is what adults do for fun?!?!?!
R19, WOW! I didn't know that, makes me love this camp-classic even more!
I was SUCH a skate queen when this film came out. I LOVED every minute of it. why, well, I guess because I was a little gaybee.
Did ONJ ever comment about the movie? Was she embarrassed about it? I can sit through Xanadu easier than I can sit through Two of a Kind. I love ONJ and have most of her music but God she sucked as an actress. Except for Grease where she was really just playing herself.
I heard that she loved working on the film and especially with Gene.
My fabulous 13-year-old self was lip-syncing to "Xanadu" in front of the bathroom mirror, and nearly dislocated my elbow when I whacked my arm on the sink attempting that X-move.
"What are you DOING in there? Your brother wants to take a shower!"
I lovedthe movie for it's visuals and musical numbers but the acting was off with everyone in the movie.Michael Beck was pissed off through the whole thing when he wasn't staring blankly at ONJ that is and ONJ is suppossed to be this wise and clever nearly omnipotent being but she seems to get dumber as the movie goes along.
That was beautiful, R40
Olivia basically said she thought people should watch the musical numbers and not the other parts.
Did she say anything about watching her terribly dancing skills?
[quote]Did ONJ ever comment about the movie? Was she embarrassed about it? I can sit through Xanadu easier than I can sit through Two of a Kind. I love ONJ and have most of her music but God she sucked as an actress. Except for Grease where she was really just playing herself.
I met her while she was shooting the picture and she described it to me as and I quote "A roller disco movie". Now I'm sure she was disappointed that it wasn't a smash but because of Home Video which was taking off around then more and more people got to see and it definitely has a following today. She felt enough affection for it to go to the Broadway Stage show opening night which is actually hilarious and a fun show.
R9, Purple Rain.
R45, why the capitals?
I don't understand why they went to such special effect extremes for the Midnight Special, and used those ugly women to play the ONJ parts in "Dancin'" This would have been such a great addition to the movie.
R37 She did comment on the film. In the billboard #1 hit book. "I certainly wouldnt die of overexposure in xanadu. It was a character building bomb. Not enough people saw it. I dont regret it or anything ive done. I learned a lot. And the music was successful. I would have been upset if the music flopped".
That was marvelous, R47, they really really pushed that 1943/1980 vibe back then, didn't they?
Xanadu was a hit to ONJs screen career, but it was "Two of a Kind" that was the final nail in the coffin. Heh.
The best song from the movie. Unfortunately just a snippet was heard in the film and at the end over the closing credits. But I have always loved this.
Damn that stage show was so much fun. The stage seats were the best. Saw it a few times with the best being when Whoopi Goldberg stepped in for two weeks for Jackie Hoffman.
The musical was fun. It seems to be a favorite with regional companies too.
I love reading the reviews of it on Amazon. It's funny as shit. Both the 5 stars and 1 stars write so passionately about it. My favorite line in one of the reviews was "It's a mixture of Saturday Night Fever and Cats."
I saw Olivia perform a couple of weeks ago and she sang four songs from the soundtrack. Magic and Xanadu I was expecting but not Suddenly and Suspended in Time.
How did she sound? Where was the concert? I saw her about 6 yrs ago in NYC and she was very good, better than I expected and even did a little bit of "Heart Attack" and "Twist of Fate" in a medley.